Column: Moore shows heart, courage in return to hockey
After months of serving as your NHL columnist, I have reached my last column, and I'm going to finally let the cat out of the bag: I am a New York Rangers fan.
On a personal level, I have become quite a bad luck charm to the players that I have come to love. Every single time I have bought a player's jersey, that player has been shipped out of New York in less than a year's time.
With that being said, for years, I have avoided picking up a new jersey. How would I feel if I was the one to send our lord and savior Henrik Lundqvist packing with the purchase of a No. 30 shirt? I have spent years in fear of damning the team I love-so much that I have gone so far as to even avoid naming a favorite player.
Well, I'm just going to come out and say it: I have a new favorite player and his name is Dominic Moore.
Moore is far from a marquee name, although his recent special on ESPN's E60 may change that. A 10-year NHL journeyman, Moore has never been one to capture headlines. On the ice, he's much more time-waster than goal scorer. He's not out there to win the team a game; he's there to prevent them from losing.
However, off-the-ice, if there's anyone who knows about loss, it's Moore. In January of 2013, Moore's wife Katie died after a battle with cancer that spanned nine months. Prior to Katie's death, Moore walked away from his team, the San Jose Sharks, in the midst of a first-round playoff series in an effort to care for his dying wife. For Moore, hockey was put on the backburner, and rightfully so.
Moore took a year off from the game. Teams called, and he rejected them, putting his career in jeopardy.
Finally, prior to this season, Moore signed with the Rangers, the team that he started his career with and made his return to Madison Square Garden on October 28, 2013 on what would have been his wife's 33rd birthday.
Fast forward to the current playoffs. Moore has been a standout for the Rangers in the team's first round series with the Flyers. The 33-year-old has scored two goals in the series' first five games, one-third of his scoring output for the 73 games that made up his regular season.
His second goal saw an outpour of emotion, as Moore leapt into the arms of 6-foot-7, 240 pound Brian Boyle and proceeded to take the giant down to the ice after putting the Blueshirts up 3-0. It was a display of pure happiness from Moore less than a year and a half after he had so much to be sad about.
With all that said, I have no issue with finally making the call. Dominic Moore is my favorite player. I can finally feel comfortable saying it, as I know that, regardless of what logo is on his sweater, Dominic Moore will always be the type of player and person I will want to cheer on.
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